Quiet Firing Happens

The quiet firing began three years before I was laid off from my career. Let me start from the beginning—the beginning of the end.

Once upon a time, I worked for a small, international semiconductor company that designed computer storage and the associated software to make it work. Through the years, the company earned quite a reputation in the industry and was eventually eaten by a bigger fish. Daily life didn’t change much during the first five years following the acquisition. However, upper management wasn’t sure what to do with our tight-knit little group of professional writers.

Eventually, our team was handed off to upper-upper management. Who looked at the numbers with an accountant’s eye. They apparently decided that the employee base was getting older. And, those of us who’d been with the company for a while also took home more money than current management thought they should be paying. And the attritions began.

The first to go was my friend. Because he was past retirement age, he decided that the crap falling down from on high wasn’t worth the extra stress, so he put in his papers and said Adios, Amiga. That left me next in line.

Within a year, I began to notice little things. I was born at night, but not last night, so I went home and told First Reader that I felt uneasy about the job. Every extra dollar I got as a bonus was funneled over to pay down our bills. I bought a new car, knowing I’d be unemployed by the end of the year, but I planned that into my new budget.

The year they quit giving me raises and undermined my bonuses, I set firm boundaries with the company; it was no longer a career. It had turned into a job. I saw the writing on the wall and made my plans. (For one, I dusted off my fiction and started this blog.) The company couldn’t fire me outright for a multitude of reasons. One, I am a lesbian. I am also a woman, a veteran, and was over 60 at the time. They had to tread carefully lest I file a discrimination suit against the company.

The next three years were hell, but I didn’t care by then. I was looking forward to the end of the bullcrap and the stress associated with the job. I will admit that I had not only “quietly quit,” I had almost fully disengaged when I was escorted from the building. During the last six months or so, I only showed up in the office when our “supervisor” was in town. I emptied my cubicle of anything personal. In fact, the only way anyone knew that cube was occupied was because my name was on the plaque.

I walked out with a severance package, my head held high, and a “thank you for doing me a favor” to my “manager’s” lackey. I never looked back.

I find it amusing that now that the pandemic has had its way with America, the corporate world thinks that the worker bees want to return to the same stress-inducing environments they had before the covid break. Having found that work-life balance is possible and can be less stressful, I doubt many employees will want to return to the status quo.

One thought on “Quiet Firing Happens

  1. Nice recap of the demise of that little, international semiconductor company… Hope things go smoothly for you two when they do get rolling.


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